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Chapel students injured by falling fraternity letters

Oct. 5, 2000

By KIM APPEL

Reporter

Two Baylor students required medical treatment after a plywood fraternity letter fell from a ledge above the Waco Hall doors as students were entering Wednesday's 10 a.m. Chapel.

Baylor Police Chief Jim Doak said two letters, the Greek symbols for 'Sigma' and 'Nu,' were placed on the ledge as part of a prank.

Christi Burke, a Kansas City, Mo., sophomore, and Kristin Roy, a Ft. Collins, Colo., freshman, were taken to the Health Center and later to Tower Radiology for X-rays. Both women received minor injuries.

'We were just walking in, and it fell on top of me,' Roy said. 'It took me a second to realize what happened.'

Burke said the wooden letter 'N' struck her on the right side of her face. She said she reported the accident after that side of her face went numb.

Roy said she notified Chapel officials after she began feeling dizzy and nauseous during the Chapel program. The Baylor Department of Public Safety was notified, and Burke and Roy were taken for medical treatment.

'All the X-rays turned out OK,' Roy said. 'I just have a scraped and bruised neck and shoulder. I'm pretty sore and have a bad headache.'

Burke's X-rays also came back negative.

'I got the X-rays back today,' Burke said. 'There is no fracture. I'm just really swollen and have a headache.'

Doak said a Baylor DPS bicycle officer spotted three male students climbing on the outside of Waco Hall at around 3:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Doak said the officer saw the letters on the ledge but did not have the students remove the letters.

'If we asked them to go back up there, we would have been putting them at risk,' Doak said. 'The officer didn't know what they were made of and thought they were placed in such a way that they were stable.'

Doak said the students were identified and connected with the prank.

Alan Henson, a Bryan senior and president of Sigma Nu, said fraternity members were not involved in placing the letters on Waco Hall. He said the two 4-foot-tall wooden letters were stolen from Touchdown Alley Saturday during the Baylor football game.

Henson said fraternity members filed a theft report with Baylor DPS Wednesday.

'Sigma Nu's concern is not so much as who stole the letters but with the individuals who were injured,' Henson said. 'We take full responsibility for leaving the letters unattended at Touchdown Alley, but we had nothing to do with the accident.'

Doak said Baylor Police are still conducting the investigation, and criminal charges could be filed.

'At this point, we don't find any linkage to any other groups,' Doak said.

He said the Baylor Physical Plant removed the second letter with a ladder following the accident.

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